Snowmobile race boosts scholarship fund in Houlton

Episode 298

January 12, 2020

” Handlebars and Heartbeats” benefits Simon Cyr Scholarship Fund

Snowmobile racers who came to support the Simon Cyr Scholarship Fund at the Tame the Track “Handlebars and Heartbeats” 2-day event at the American Legion in Houlton. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

A conversation in 2019 between Tame the Track Snowmobile Racing Tour promoter Jere Humphrey and Levi Cyr, both from Houlton, led to the second running of “Handlebars and Heartbeats” snowmobile races at the Chester L. Briggs American Legion Post No. 47 on the Bangor Road in Houlton, Friday and Saturday, January 10 & 11, 2020.

Cyr was the son of Levi and Michelle Cyr of  Houlton, born Sept. 23, 2016, with a congenital heart defect and spent half of his young life in the hospital, including time spent both at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Cyr was just 17 months old when he died March 3, 2018. He left behind two siblings, Peyton and Aiden. (Some of this information is from an article by Joseph Cyr,The County online news, December 27, 2019)

The scholarship will be awarded to both traditional and non-traditional students who enter the medical field.

Awarding of check from Tame the Track Snowmobile Racing Tour promoter Jere Humphrey to the Simon Cyr Memorial Scholarship Fund from the “Handlebars and Heartbeats” race event. Left to right  grandparents Brent, Gayle Cyr, Simon’s parents Levi, and Michelle Cyr, maternal grandparents Dinah Cyr Parent and her husband Rudy Parent with Race Director Jere Humphrey. (photo by Kylie Graffam)

Results from the “Handlebars and Heartbeats” races:

Dysart’s Truck Stop, Cyr & Sons Repair, KLIM KIDS 120cc STOCK —
1) Trenton Hanscom: Benton, ME, Polaris
2) Barrett Peabody: Houlton, ME, Polaris

Witham’s Paving, Daigle Oil Company KIDS 120cc MODIFIED
1) Evan Witham: Levant, Maine, Polaris
2) Emmett Walker: New Vineyard, Maine, Arctic Cat
3) Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Polaris

Corinth Village Creamery & Willette’s Automotive KIDS 200 STOCK
1) Kole Alexander: Hermon, ME, Arctic Cat
2)  Myrah Grant: Houlton, ME, Arctic Cat

Casella Waste Systems/ Pine Tree Waste WOMEN’S INVITATIONAL —
1) Haley Brownell: Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
2)  Alley Ripley: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
3) Haley Frohlich: Auburn, ME, Polaris

TNT Road Company & Last Chance Motorsports JUNIORS INVITATIONAL —
1) Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
2) Austin Witham: Levant, ME, Yamaha
3) Hailey Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha

Teen Invitational race at “Handlebars and Heartbeats” snowmobile races at Houlton. The race was won by Henry Moneypenny on his Yamaha #72 in center of photo. ((Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

Workstore and Houlton Powersports & RV TEENS INVITATIONAL —
1) Henry Moneypenny: West Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
2) Christian Hanscom: Benton, ME, Yamaha
3) Landon Collins: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha

Single stock class with Justin Hartford, Daytona Gould, and Nathan Alexander all aboard Sno Jets. The race was won by  Alexander on his Sno Jet. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

Blanchard’s Towing & VIP Tires SINGLE CYLINDER STOCK
1) Nathan Alexander: Orrington, ME, Sno Jet
2) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Sno Jet
3) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Sno Jet

Harry’s Motorsports & Equipment & UniFirst SINGLE CYLINDER MODIFIED —
1) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Sno Jet
2) Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat

SnowStuds, Star City Rentals & PowerMadd 340 STOCK —
1) Landon Collins: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
2) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Yamaha
3) Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat

Savage Paint & Body and Dead River Company 340/440 MODIFIED —
1) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
2) Nathan Alexander: Orrington, ME, Yamaha
3) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat

Bangor Motorsports & J McLaughlin Construction 440 STOCK
1)Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
2)Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha

Jeff’s Catering & Mikes and Sons Trail 600 — Saturday
1) Brandon Ouellette: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Henry Moneypenny: West Ossipee, NH, Ski Doo

1st Rate Bait and Pelletier Ford IFS 440 STOCK —
1) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Ski Doo
2) Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Caleb Morris: Turner, ME Polaris

Mission Trailers & Thundering Valley IFS OUTLAW —
1) Brandon Ouellette: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Casey Savage: Sherman, ME, Polaris

Friday Night’s results from racing under the lights………


Casey Savage, Sherman, with his 1999 Polaris XCR in heated action in the Classic 600 race. Veteran racer Savage was weaving his way through the heavy traffic of twenty-one entries when a cylinder head bolt came loose and started to overheat.
Savage was making his debut with Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Kids Klassic sponsored by Houlton Water Company —
1) Evan Witham: Levant, ME, Polaris
2) Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Polaris
3) Emmett Walker: New Vineyard, ME, Polaris

Next Generation Rivals sponsored by Cameron’s Market —
1) Hailey Frohlich: Auburn, ME, Polaris
2) Haley Brownell:Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
3) Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH,Yamaha

Couples Combination sponsored by PowerMadd —
1) Casey & Mickey Savage Polaris
2) Justin & Riley Hartford Yamaha
3) Haley Brownell & Kris Wheeler
4) Caleb Morris & Hailey Frohlich

Derek Gould on left congratulates his son Daytona after winning the Friday night under the lights Classic 600 class. This race had 21 sleds racing for 15 laps on the tight track. Lots of racing throughout the pack. The Gould family is based in Dexter, Maine. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Trail 600 Classic sponsored by Sport Vehicles & Small Engine Repair —
1) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Ski Doo
3) Derrick Fitzpatrick: Houlton, ME, Arctic Cat

Trail Open Invitational sponsored by R.C Logging Supplies —
1) Brandon Ouellette: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Casey Savage: Sherman, ME, Polaris
3) Micheal Savage: Sherman, ME, Polaris

Tame the Track All Star Extravaganza capped the Friday night races with three segments totaling 50 laps determining the overall winner. Taking first place honors Joe Pelletier, Fort Kent, center, second place Toby Caron, Fort Kent on right. Third place Daytona Gould, Dexter, is on left. Pelletier commented, ” Overall the weekend was very fun, but as the track developed, it became very rough, which really took a toll on the old body. I enjoy those conditions typically, but it was a quite a few laps for me over both days”. Pelletier estimated he ran over 125 laps.(Tame the Track photo)

All Star Extravaganza sponsored by Valley Motors —
1) Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Toby Caron: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat

The next regularly scheduled race is the Rangeley Snodeo race “Adrenaline Rush” –at the Steven A. Bean Municipal Airport, which will be held on Saturday, January 25th, as part of the Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour regular season event.

Cross Country Snowmobile Racing coming to Sherman, Maine

It’s Chili Bowl Midget Nationals time!

34th Chili Bowl National will be all week at the River Spirit Tulsa Expo indoor raceway. The 1/4 mile clay track will host 359 entries in qualifying races all week-long. The finale will be Saturday January 18, 2020. Races during the week can be seen Saturday finals will be covered by Bowl photo)

Motorsports career advice from Phoenix Raceway President

Julie Giese,President of Phoenix Raceway in Arizona was interviewed by Dave Argabright in Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Magazine January 2020 issue had this to say to a young person looking for a career in motorsports.

Dave Argabright PRI Magazine “A young man or woman approaches you and asks your advice on how to maintain a career in motorsports. What advice do you give them?
Giese: My first advice is to volunteer to work at a track. If you don’t have a NASCAR track near you, find a local short track and volunteer. Get some experience and start to build a network.

Reach out and try to find an internship with a race team, or at a company that is involved in sponsorship. Try to turn over every stone to network and find those contacts that can help you.

Our sport is very much a family type sport based on who you know. Honestly, that’s how I got into the sport. I graduated college and sent my resume out to all the NASCAR race tracks hoping to get a job.

Back then, they actually sent rejection letters saying, “Thanks, but no thanks, your
qualifications aren’t what we’re looking for.”

But I didn’t give up; I made sure even while at the advertising agency that the people
around me knew that I wanted to get involved in racing. I volunteered to help at different events, trying to get some exposure, and that turned into an opening at Watkins Glen.

The person leaving the position had a friend who worked with me at the advertising agency, and they had a conversation about the position being open. My friend said, “You know what, I think I know somebody you should talk to.”

She referred me over to the job and I moved to Watkins Glen in January 2001. So it’s really all about networking and getting involved at the entry-level. Wherever you can find it, those connections will help you find the openings.

Baseball coach has good advice for motorsports

Coach Lantz Wheeler believes

  1. The best players Compete in Empty Rooms. (Or empty shops or race tracks)
  2. They do today what others won’t and it’s why they’re able to do tomorrow what others can’t.
  3. They take ownership of their own career.

My favorite motorsports book of 2019

My favorite motorsports book of 2019, Penske’s Maestro ; Karl Kainhofer and the History of Penske Racing by Gordon Kirby published by Racemaker Press.

I have been interested in Penske Racing since seeing them in action at the 1974 Formula 1 race at Watkins Glen. I saw Penske and Donohue and their sharply dressed crew and spotless PC1 race car which although it did not finish certainly caught my attention. It turned out that it was the last time I would see Mark Donohue because he died in Austria in 1975 after a crash in the morning practice session.

Roger Penske at Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona 2018. I only had opportunity to say hello and wish him well with the Acura Team Penske. (Phil Miller photo)

I did get to say hello to Roger Penske two years ago at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the garage area. It was nothing more than a casual “hello” nevertheless I could cross another name off my bucket list.

When the Penske Maestro book came out three years ago, I put it on my Christmas wish list but withdrew it due to the $90 price tag. I got the book through interlibrary loan from Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina and was able to read it once all the way through and re-read several sections.

As a result of reading the book, I have added Karl Kainhofer to my motorsports “must meet” list. I heard and read about his importance to the Penske organization. His story shed new insight into the importance of this Austrian immigrant and how Kainhofer, Roger Penske, and Mark Donohue developed an organization which now includes IndyCar Racing and ownership of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has a race shop in Mooresville, North Carolina over 424,000 square feet.

Years ago I visited Penske Shocks in Reading, Pennsylvania and got a tour. I went into Penske Racing’s Reading race shop, however, did not have a tour scheduled and was unable to see their shop. Maybe someday I will get to North Carolina to see the new shop,

Kainhofer highlights

You must read the book to get the full flavor of the life of Karl Kainhofer. I make no claim to tell his story in these brief paragraphs.

Kainhofer was born as Karl Weiss to an unwed mother Karoline in Vienna, Austria May 13, 1931. Weiss moved with him back to her hometown of Graz looking to raise him in extremely tough economic times.

She gave him up for adoption and Karl lived in an orphanage until Friedrich and Barbara Kainhofer adopted him at age four and a half. Barbara passed away only a few months after Karl’s adoption and he has no recollection of her.

Kainhofer lived at that house in Graz until 1956 when he took a job at the Porsche factory in Stuttgart, Germany. During the war years he spent many hours in bomb shelters hiding from the allied bombing of Graz.

Graz was a railroad hub connecting Germany to the oil fields in the east. It was also a storage depot and had a POW camp. Over 1900 civilians lost their lives and 7800 buildings were destroyed in the raids.

After the war, Kainhofer’s first job was as an automotive apprentice for Karl Gsaltner who paid the young man 24 Austrian shillings or about one US dollar per week. He worked for 3 1/2 years as an apprentice until becoming a journeyman for 1 1/2 more years.

Kainhofer remembers he learned how to properly clean parts otherwise the journeyman would rub grease in his face. He carried that cleanliness trait the rest of his working life.

In February 1958, after working at Porsche headquarters learning everything he could from assembly of cars to proper engine building, Porsche sent him to America where he took a job at European Cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That job only lasted couple months when the owner, Ed Hugus, bought a Ferrari to race.

The Porsche folks were not impressed, so they sent Karl to work at Harry Blanchard’s in Greenwich, Connecticut. The parts salesman George Hayes took Karl under his wing and found Karl a place to live and helped him get established since Kainhofer’s English was still very limited.

The owner of the Porsche dealership, Harry Blanchard, turned out to be not only a kind hearted boss but also a good race car driver. When Blanchard went racing in 1958 he had Karl work on and tow his Carrera Speedster to Lime Rock for some races.

This turned out to be an important milestone for Karl when he saw the level of preparation of the other race cars. He knew he could do much better and a clean race car became his trademark not only on the top but underneath as well.

“That was basically how my career started,” said Kainhofer. ” I make things better than the next guy. That was what I always wanted to do. I felt a clean car was a good car.”

“My philosophy always was and still is, the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”

Kainhofer met Roger Penske at Vineland, New Jersey April 1959 along with Bob Holbert and his son Al. He worked on Penske’s race cars off and on over the next several years until Penske retired and went racing full-time in 1966 with his driver Mark Donohue.


How Penske Racing started with only a handful of mechanics. One if my favorite chapters which includes meeting Mark Donohue. It included working out of the tiny garage in Newton Square, Pennsylvania. (Penske Maestro photo)

The shop where Penske Racing started. Mark Donohue would sleep in the upstairs apartment when they had to work late at night. (Bruce Martin photo)

Kainhofer and Mark Donohue were always close friends. When Donohue died in Austria 1975, Kainhofer took over engine building program at Penske Racing in Reading. He rarely went on the road after that. (Penske Maestro photo)

Kainhofer watched the 1960 Indy 500 under a tree in turn one with Penske and 1951 Indy 500 winner Lee Willard. It was at that time that Penske made what seemed to be a bold statement that he would be racing at Indy. In 1969 Penske racing entered its first Indy 500 finishing 7th with Mark Donohue named “Rookie of the Race”.

May 27,1972 Kainhofer prepared the Penske McLaren-Offy that won the Indy 500. This was Penske Racing first of eighteen Indy 500 wins.

If you like racing history, especially if you like Penske Racing, I highly recommend reading Penske’s Maestro. You will find out much more than I am able to share with you in this episode.

Let’s Go Racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)


Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine